Disability is no laughing matter. Folks with disabilities must face challenges on a daily basis that those without disabilities cannot fathom. An act as necessary and simple as public restroom use can become a chore for some people if there are not reasonable accommodations. Fortunately for disabled people, there are rules and regulations established to protect their rights and make sure they are capable of performing the same acts that some of us take for granted. The Americans with Disabilities Act is one example of those regulations.
A recent probe discovered, of the top five states with the most disabled people, there are more ADA lawsuits filed in California than in the next four combined. There is concern about this, with some claiming certain people are abusing the system for financial gain.
Many people who are not disabled simply don’t realize how much they are taking for granted. The challenges of being disabled are real, and they may in fact be a greater struggle if a disability is incurred later in life. All businesses should have reasonable accommodations in place already, but if disabled people don’t frequent their place of work, it is possible that owners simply do not realize they are unaccommodating until it is pointed out.
While erroneous claims are not encouraged for personal financial gain, it is imperative that those who are genuinely suffering are not made to feel guilty. There is no penalty for seeking reasonable accommodation for a life-altering disability. There can be, however, a penalty not to provide it.
Source: NBC Bay Area, “California Outpaces Other States in ADA Lawsuits,” Vicky Nguyen, Jeremy Carroll and Kevin Nious, Feb. 20, 2014